“Girls Can’t Do That!”


In The Green Bicycle, a book written by Haifaa Al Mansour, eleven-year-old Wadjda desperately wants a bicycle to race her friend. While on her way home one day, she saw a green bicycle in the toy store and thought it would be perfect for her! But in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, it is “improper” for girls to ride bikes. The Muslim culture is very conservative when it comes to females. Her parents say they will never buy her the bike of her dreams or will they?! Wadjda tries earning money by doing several things like selling bracelets, mixtapes of banned music and by passing notes to neighborhood boys. Nothing can stand between a girl and her dream. How would you feel if people told you, you can’t follow your dreams?

Mansour is a Saudi Arabian Native who directs and screenwrites. She was honored with an EDA Female Focus Award, which is given to recognize work done about women who are either in front or behind the scenes. “Wadja” the award winning film directed by Mansour was based on this book. Although this novel is said to be for readers from ages 8-12, I think it is more for ages 10-12.This may be a lengthy read but it provides a message that helps girls with their self-esteem. The author uses deep details to make the character stand out. She also used hidden opinions and special emotions that only the careful reader will discover. The Green Bicycle warms the heart while inspiring girls to be themselves.